Establishment of Election Commissions: India, Korea, and the United States

When Was an Election Commission Established?

The 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution established an election commission in every State, responsible for conducting elections to local bodies. These include Panchayats and Municipalities.

Each chief State election official shall report to the Federal Election Commission (established by this chapter) on the number of accessible and inaccessible polling places for the preceding general Federal election.

The Constitution of India

The Constitution of India entrusts the election commission with superintendence, direction and control over the entire process for conducting elections to Parliament and State legislatures as well as to the offices of the President and Vice President. The commission does this by delimiting electoral constituencies, preparing and periodically revising electoral rolls, registering voters and scrutinising nomination papers. It also grants recognition to political parties and assigns them election symbols. It also appoints officers for inquiring into disputes that may arise during the election process.

The commission is an all-India body and its headquarters is in New Delhi. It consists of three members, a Chief Election Commissioner and two other Commissioners who are appointed by the President for six-year terms. The Commission has exceptional autonomy and discretion that is not available to other Indian institutions. The Commission is a non-profit making organisation with its own secretariat and staff. The Commission is independent of the government and cannot be dismissed by the President.

The National Election Commission (NEC) of the Republic of Korea

The National Election Commission (NEC) of the Republic of Korea is an independent constitutional agency responsible for managing fair elections and referendums. It also manages elections for the heads of local agricultural, livestock, fisheries and forestry cooperatives and the presidents of national universities. The NEC has also expanded its duties to include civic education for future voters. The NEC also operates the Internet Election News Deliberation Commission and the Election Debate Broadcasting Commission. In addition, it manages Overseas Election Commissions at embassies to provide voting services for Korean citizens abroad.

The NEC conducts nationwide elections for presidential and local council members and heads of local government in accordance with the Public Official Election Act. Its responsibilities include registering preliminary candidates for elections, making an electoral register and managing the election campaign as well as voting and ballot counting to determine elected candidates. It also provides financial support for political parties to guarantee their freedom to organize according to the constitution and ensures transparent fundraising through the Election Funds Act.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) of the United States

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is the US government agency responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws. Its duties include collecting and publishing reports on campaign receipts and expenditures, regulating the public funding of presidential campaigns, and auditing a limited number of candidates and organizations for compliance with the FECA and related regulations.

The FEC is led by six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Commissioners must agree on all substantive actions, including opening an investigation, assessing a civil fine, approving an advisory opinion or writing new rules.

The FECA places limits on the amount of money that individuals and groups can give to political candidates, party committees and PACs. It also requires disclosure of the source of these funds. The FEC collects these reports and makes them available to the public on its website. These comprehensive reports offer a window into the financial realities of federal elections. They are a valuable resource for researchers, journalists and ordinary citizens seeking to understand how the political process works in America.

The Election Commission of India

The Constitution entrusts superintendence, direction and control of the entire process of conducting elections to Parliament, State Legislatures, and for the office of President and Vice President to the Commission. It has power to prepare and periodically revise electoral rolls and to scrutinize nomination papers. It also registers political parties and classifies them on the national and state levels, as well as monitors election campaigns and expenditure.

The Commission is assisted by a Secretariat in New Delhi. Five or six Deputy Election Commissioners, who are selected and appointed from the civil services, and Director Generals, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries are posted in the Secretariat. They have a fixed tenure and are aided by officers of the Commission in charge of Divisions, Branches and Sections. The Commission issues a Model Code of Conduct for candidates and political parties and resolves disputes about electoral arrangements. It also investigates complaints of bribery and corruption in the course of elections.

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